Right Steps & Poui Trees


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Sahara Dust & The View from My Window

This was the view from my window one morning last week:

view from the window week of 17-6-2020

Then a plume of Sahara dust swept across the Atlantic into the Caribbean, not an uncommon event, but this was perhaps the worst in fifty years, they said.

saharan dust

And with the dust in the air, this was the view from my window on Wednesday morning. I could not see the hills!

Sahara dust view 24-6-2020

 

 

That plume of Sahara dust has moved past us, here in Jamaica, though they say another will affect us in a few days time. But tonight, at sunset, I could see the hills again…against a salmon-coloured sky…sunset 26-6-2020

 


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The Downward Glance…

Chin up! Don’t look down! The view on the ground is not the celebrated view…perhaps for good reason…IMG_20191218_091531_resized_20191231_113844123 downward - cigarette

But sometimes the downward glance reveals the beauty…downward - flower

…of fallen things…IMG_20191218_091132_resized_20191231_113614859 downward - flower

…of forgotten things…IMG_20191218_091459_resized_20191231_113815156 downward - flower

…of broken things…IMG_20191218_091056_resized_20191231_113531812 downward - flower

…of things past their prime….IMG_20191218_091203_BURST001_COVER_resized_20191231_113644236 downward - flower


Tree in a Backyard: Minnesota

I stood in a backyard in St Paul, Minnesota, trying to take a photo of a bright red cardinal as it flitted from tree to tree. Such a beautiful bird, but it just wouldn’t sit still! Every time I moved slowly into position to snap a photo, the bird flew off to a new vantage point! So I got no photo of the bird….

This tree in the backyard, however, stayed still enough for me to take a number of photos, which I now share with you. If anyone can identify the tree for me, I would be grateful.

Here is its crown pictured with two other trees against a clear blue sky…MN backyard tree

It had beautiful blossoms in abundance…P1390472 - MN backyard tree

Here they are closer up…P1390473 - MN backyard tree

The tree had such wonderfully rugged bark…P1390481 - MN backyard tree

And if you look very carefully, up towards the right in this photo, you may see the branch on which the cardinal was sitting moments before I captured this image!P1390480 - MN backyard tree


Sargassum on the Beach!

The guard in charge of directing parking and taking entrance fees informed us that the water was dirty. When we asked what he meant, he said that there was a lot of seaweed in the water. Having driven out to Boardwalk beach, however, we weren’t about to turn around and leave without even taking a look. So in we went…P1380922 Boardwalk beach sargassum

Yes, there was a lot of seaweed on the beach…and in the water…IMG_20190508_090658_resized_20190508_090722933 beach seaweed

Sargassum……a type of seaweed found only in the Atlantic Ocean…IMG_20190428_125357_resized_20190508_092007576 beach seaweed

…is a kind of open ocean brown algae.IMG_20190428_125411_resized_20190508_091849377 beach seaweed shell

 

“The influx of the seaweed is believed to be related to increased accumulation in the Atlantic Ocean where nutrients are available and temperatures are high. The seaweed consolidates into large mats and is transported by ocean currents towards the Caribbean, washing up on beaches throughout the region.” (National Environment & Planning Agency website)IMG_20190428_123943_resized_20190508_091444580 beach seaweed

A few people went in to swim, despite the seaweed in the water. But not many. Most people were on the beach…P1380936 trees on beach

…in the shade…like me…P1380960 beach

or in the sun…like this vendor, who didn’t have much luck making sales, since few people were going into the water…vendor on the beach 2019

…because of the sargassum there….IMG_20190428_125503_resized_20190508_091734713 beach seaweed water

Note

“The excess of Sargassum washing up on beaches in the Caribbean originates from the Sargasso Sea, located in the open North Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda. This sea stretches 1000 km wide and 3200 km long and is estimated to hold up to 10 million metric tons of Sargassum (see image below). It is known as “the golden floating rainforest”. It is also found in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Scientists suggest that the influx of Sargassum in the Caribbean is due to a rise in water temperatures and low winds, which both affect ocean currents. In essence pieces of the Sargassum are becoming entrained in currents which head towards the Eastern Caribbean Islands. These factors and the spreading of Sargassum has been linked to increased nitrogen loading due to pollution of the oceans through human activity of increased sewerage, oils, fertilizers and global climate change.” (Sargassum: A Resource Guide for the Caribbean, p. 4)

 


Pausing on Garden Boulevard, Mona Heights

Garden Boulevard is the longest road in Mona Heights, running from the intersection with Old Hope Road near the Hope Gardens gate all the way to the intersection with Mona Road, where the aqueduct leads into the Mona Dam.

IMG_20190425_125537_resized_20190501_103755162 cut trees

As I turned onto Garden Boulevard at the Mona Road intersection last week, I noticed that some of the trees along the sidewalk had recently been cut.

IMG_20190501_104220_resized_20190501_104236885 cut trees

It was the bright colour of the cut wood that caught my attention and made me stop, park and get closer, to take photos of the pruned privet trees. The only sign of those who had done the cutting was a red cap seemingly forgotten near one of the pruned trees.

IMG_20190425_124457_resized_20190501_104941627 cut trees

Cut surfaces of different sizes and shapes.

 

And already, across the stump of one felled tree…

IMG_20190425_124308_resized_20190501_105208158 cut trees

…something new had begun to grow….

IMG_20190425_124347_resized_20190501_105603139 cut trees

Small details captured while pausing on a long road in Mona Heights one morning….

IMG_20190425_125346_resized_20190501_104504139 cut trees

(And if you’d like to see the full length of Garden Boulevard, take a look at this video I found online- click here.)Garden Blvd blog pic

 


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Flower: The Reproductive Portion of Any Plant in the Division Magnoliophyta (Angiospermae)…

“Flower,…Poor Man's orchid 4-19.PNG

…the reproductive portion of any plant in the division Magnoliophyta (Angiospermae),…IMG_20190414_084851_resized_20190417_110827952 flowers

…a group commonly called flowering plants…IMG_20190414_110020_resized_20190417_110248398 flowers

…or angiosperms….IMG_20190416_154246_resized_20190417_110207045 orchid blooms

As popularly used, the term “flower” especially applies…IMG_20190415_140254_resized_20190417_110348517 flowers

…when part or all of the reproductive structure is distinctive in colour…flowers - crown of thorns

and form.”IMG_20190417_110701_resized_20190417_110724825 flowers jade vine

https://www.britannica.com/science/flower